Only a handful of IAS aspirants who prepare for the Civil Services Examination clear the process. Millions of others keep trying one attempt after the other. What happens when eventually they are not able to crack the exam? Let’s hear from the aspirants.

1. “I quit IAS preparation and decided to prepare for PG medical exams. It was very tough initially to switch the preparation. But being a medical officer after my MBBS helped me to get along with initial stress. Then I prepared by joining a NEET-PG coaching institute, offline classes in 2018. I was fortunate enough to decide with clarity that I needed to go for either Community medicine or Psychiatry for my Post graduation with the experience I had in the last 4 years in our health system. I was fortunate enough to get a seat in AIIMS Bhubaneswar in the department of community medicine.” – Aravinda Chinnadurai

2.  “I cleared prelims four times but failed in all Mains due to poor marks in GS paper and essay. However it was a tad easy to pass CSIR Administrative services exam and to start my career as Section Officer. Despite being a rank holder in CSIR today I really feel I should have pursued a career in research.” – Sridhar Km

Indian Express

3. “I realised that I love to guide budding IAS aspirants through my blog and would like to do it full time. I take it as a challenge to help aspirants solve their pressing difficulties while preparing for the civil services. Also I love to devise strategies and tools that can help students to prepare better and get the most out of their time and effort.” – Vishal

Film Companion

4. “I failed in the UPSC Exam thrice. By then, I had invested close to 4 years of my peak years to Civil Services preparation. Being academically oriented and having a quantitative blend of mind, I decided to enroll for a Master’s program at the Indian Statistical Institute. I am working with a leading investment bank now.” – Rachit Agarwal

navbharat times

5. “Once I got over the shock of not clearing the prelims in my third attempt I started looking at what other avenues I could explore. Up until then I was solely focussed on the exam and never thought beyond it. After a very long period, I started reaching out to her friends who were pursuing other career prospects. It took me almost 20 days to write my Statement of Purpose (SOP) for colleges. I was not armed with a degree in computer science and did not have the names of any big company on my resume. I felt insecure but nonetheless took the plunge and applied for my Masters abroad.” Shruti

study dhaba

6. “I started teaching in an institute from where I myself took coaching for my IIT preparation. In the first year of job, I got very negative feedback from students but then I decided to put my all efforts in teaching. In next two years I personally guided some students and they got top ranks in IIT entrance. It gave me confidence and meanwhile I started a platform for free education to poor students and through this platform many students benefitted, so I gained popularity as a good teacher and also promotion in my institution.” – Upendra Singh

The Print

7. “Started farming. Now I’m loving it. I did SSC afterwards but it got delayed due to the cheating allegations. So I ended up stopping studies and just got into work.” – Reddit

The Hindu

8. “I gave 3 attempts. Couldn’t clear. Really thought it was the end of my life since I always wanted to be an IPS officer. I had no work experience. Only a law degree. Anything I thought of was a downgrade from the dream of becoming an IPS officer. I decided that I don’t have the capacity to take another failure so I stared working with a litigation law firm. Never wanted to be an advocate but it just happened since I had the degree. And boy am I happy after 3 years? I love being an advocate. I love reading, researching and putting forward my views. That’s what a lawyer has to do. A lot of the knowledge that I gained from civils preparation really helps.” – Reddit

The Hindu

9. “Gave one attempt after college, I cleared the Prelims but failed to get clear the Mains (2019 attempt). Tried studying for my second attempt but couldn’t find it within myself to slog for another year, also struggled a bit mentally so thought it was better if I left. Tried doing a small venture of my own soon after in the policy development sector. That also didn’t take off due to COVID. But it did help me in getting a job with a good ed tech company, which I quit recently & moved to a new startup with a decent hike. I feel much better now, even though it does get a bit hectic in the startup environment. I feel at peace now & I don’t plan on giving another attempt in the future!” – Reddit


10. “A friend of mine cleared the preliminary exam the first time and then the mains the second time but interview went bad. He was a part time teacher in a UPSC coaching institute after he cleared preliminary. So, he was financially independent. Later he cleared NABARD an RBI manger exams and now he is a manager with RBI.” – Reddit

Blog To Bollywood

11. “I gave two attempts and failed, now working at a great company as a software engineer.” – Reddit

Business Standard

12. “One of my hostel mates in medical college went for the UPSC preparation after his MBBS. He gave 4 attempts and couldn’t clear Mains in the end. He, however, cleared NEET PG and got a comfortable M.D. seat.” – Reddit

Have more such stories to share? Let us know in the comments section below.